Biotech Updates

TALENs Used to Edit Mitochondrial DNA

July 22, 2020

An inter-university team of scientists developed a method to successfully edit the mitochondrial DNA within living cells in a precise manner by combining the features of CRISPR with TALENs.

The scientists found an interbacterial toxin that enabled them to change a cytosine base in the DNA code to thiamine, thereby harnessing the potential to correct some point of mutations in the mitochondrial genome. This was further enhanced by delivering an editor that negated its toxicity and pairing it with a protein guide TALE that is able to cross the mitochondrial membrane. This resulted in the precise point mutations in the mitochondrial DNA.

The newly discovered approach may eventually become a tool that scientists can use to better model mitochondrial diseases, as mitochondrial genome editors have the potential to help treat mitochondrial-derived diseases.

Read more from Nature and BioNews.

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